Alwaght- Israeli regime announced on Sunday a plan to double the Jewish population of al-Khalil (Hebron), two weeks after the US announced that it did not consider illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories to be in breach of international law.
The plan announced by occupying regime's newly appointed Defense Minister Naftali Bennett will involve demolishing a wholesale market in al-Khalil and replacing it with a new neighborhood. At the moment, there are an estimated 200,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Jews living in the city.
The statement touted the move as ensuring “territorial continuity” between the existing Jewish Avraham Avinu neighborhood and the Tomb of the Patriarchs holy site.
Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian official and a former chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, said the Tel Aviv's move was the first tangible result of Washington’s decision “to legitimize colonization” two weeks ago. He was referring to the much-criticized announcement by the Trump administration that the US no longer considers Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories to be in violation of international law. Erekat called on the international community to impose sanctions against the Israeli settlements.
Tamar Zandberg, a member of Knesset for the opposition Democratic Union. She branded Bennett “a messianic” and called al-Khalil “the capital of Israel’s apartheid,” referring to the separation of Jewish and Arab populations in the West Bank city.